The Distance of the Dead

The Distance of the Dead

Original Text

The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur, ed. Elizabeth Perkins (London, Sydney and Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1984): 618.

1How distant in a moment are the dead!
3A long procession up from Egypt led,
5    Loud was the grief, and round about it a throe
6Passed from it into nature -- passed and fled!
8    In the cold gloom lay drift-like, none may know.
9All of those mourners died too, and at last
10    Fell like dim shadows from the world away:
11How far back in the dawn of Time they passed
12    Into the mortal mystery of decay --
13    And yet the Loved One who but died to-day,
14Is sundered from us by a gulf as vast!


2] Mamre's Cave: the cave, in modern Israel, purchased by the patriarch Abraham as a burial place for his wife Sarah (Genesis 23:16). Back to Line
4] sable: black. Back to Line
7] Patriarch: Abraham, the first patriarch in the Book of Genesis. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
Cameron LaFollette
RPO Edition